Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My $700 A Month Budget

For the curious, here's my budget. These are only monthly bills. Retirement, giving and extra mortgage payments were already doled out. See yesterday's post for that info. I hope to whittle it down even further after I pay off my mortgage to make the "Great Search For The Job That Doesn't Feel Like A Job" transition easier.

So, $700, here's where it goes:

$150 food**
$150 gas**
$37 car insurance
$41 cell phone
$47 life insurance
$70 electric**
$38 internet
$25 Christmas
$30 RV registration and insurance
$20 maintenance**
$68 property tax
$6 car registration and inspection
$9 mobile home tax
$4 AAA roadside service
$5 trash**

The ** means that I add those categories up and subtract my expenses as they happen. Sometimes I don't spend all of the food or gas money and I can use the extra for something else. I track my spending in a notebook. I like to wait until the end of the month if I need to buy something, that way I know exactly how much I have left.

The other expenses don't change much. Maybe a dollar here or there every 6 months. I re-calculate every time I pay the bill for car insurance or property tax to see if it went up or down and re-balance the categories. Eventually I will run out of money in my maintenance fund, which is the only category that isn't required. Then I'll have to increase my budget to **gasp**...$750???. I've kept it at $700 for quite a few years now. Moving to my RV definitely helped keep the expenses low.


Finance Junkie said...

Care do to a link exchange with another finance blog?


Sallie's Niece said...

Wow that's a really great budget, thanks for sharing. I don't have any tips, you're doing great!

Anonymous said...

Here's mine for comparison:

Pets - $20
Food -$200
Entertainment - $110
Toiletries - $20
Phone/Internet - $110
Utilities - $94
Charity - $110
House Taxes/Insurance - $140
Mortgage -$0
Car Insurance/Wheel Tax/Registration - $70
Gas - $89
Clothes Fund - $20
Car Maintenance Fund - $40
Travel Fund - $35
Medical Fund -$20
Gifts Fund - $25

Total = $1100/Month

PS - Your blog is great! Glad I stumbled across it.

Daizy said...

Hi Steve, sure, I'll exchange links with you!

Sallie's Niece, thanks for the compliment. It took many years to break the shopping therapy habit when I was bored. And specific goals help too.

over the cubicle wall, welcome! If you took out your 'fund' categories and entertainment, your budget would look similar to mine. I hope to put those categories back in once the mortgage is paid. Is your house paid off?

Daizy said...

By the way Steve, what are you going to do with $125k a year when you retire?

Anonymous said...

The house is paid off as of about a year and a half ago. Right now, I am concentrating a lot of effort on becoming financially independent, then shortly thereafter, the option of early retirement. I am aiming for somewhere between the ages of 40, and 45, so I have five to ten years to make it happen.

The biggest variable seems to be health insurance. Have you looked into this subject much? Any thoughts or advice?

Daizy said...

Hello again overthecubiclewall. That is impressive that you have paid off your house already and you are only 35.

I plan on going with a health savings account. There aren't many other choices that I can afford. I did consider selling my home and becoming a doctor once but that is kind of extreme.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. It is just a $63k house, but I am still glad I don't owe on it anymore. Paying for it was a big step towards where I want to get to.

Good luck on your mortgage payoff pursuit, it will definitely be worth it.

I never thought of becoming a doctor in order to cover health needs - that would be the ultimate in DIY frugality!

Anonymous said...

I'm curios. Why do you have life insurance? Do you have any dependents/debt/can't live on one income?

Daizy said...

Ah Jacob, you are sharp! Now I will have to delve in to my psychological attachment to my life insurance. It is totally unnecessary. My only dependent is a grumpy cat. I have no other debt besides the mortgage and they would sell the house if I died. I tell people that I would have a very rich cat.

It is a 30 yr term policy that I have had for about 5 years. When I got it I thought I would be married with kids by now. I haven't cancelled it because it seems like if I did I would be giving up on marriage and kids. I also have this idea that I would be the crazy cat lady aunt who secretly left her nieces and nephews enough money for college. But I would have to die in the next 25 years and I don't plan on doing that. I would only be 61. By that time my assets should be greater than the life insurance anyway. So, no. I have no good reason for keeping it.

Anonymous said...

My budget is similiar:
Mort. 355
gas 61
electric 23
water 52
gym 38
trash 11
internet 27
cable 13
car ins. 50
phone 8
food 250 (high protein is expensive)
gasoline 125
toiletries 30
pets 50
cleaning 10
rx 25
Income is $1116 from disability and $500 take home from part-time job

Daizy said...

Only $23 for electric? You must be in a state with a milder climate.

Your water is more expensive. Even the water for my rental house is only $26.

How do you only pay $8 for phone? Is that a pay as you go cell phone or something?

So, you can almost live on disability alone. What do you do with the money from your part time work?

Aron said...

well, no one can do better

trade4target said...
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trade4target said...
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Emer333 said...

Apparently you all are nudist who go barefoot, never get sick, take your pet to a vet, or winterized your home. Oh, the high cost of home repairs! I have no cable, which quickly went over $100. After I agreed to pay $50, and after segueing for hours, I cancelled it. An R C A wire for $30. At K Mart does well. Also, there is no budget for when an appliance breaks. Home taxes are nearly half of my $722. Budget. I rob Peter to pay Paul.

Emer333 said...

"Segueing" is segueing mid-spelled. I own my home, which is a blessing. I spend my largest amount on food.